LGBT Ally James Lange on a Mission to Help Same-Sex Couples Retire Secure
The difference between a same-sex couple getting married and taking specific pro-active steps, and not getting married and not taking these pro-active steps can be the difference between running out of money and having $1.4 million during their retirement years. So says Pittsburgh-based CPA/Attorney James Lange who, after having done extensive research on the subject, is on a mission to educate and help (Lange's calculations are available upon request).
"Finally, thanks to changes passed into the law in 2013, same-sex couples that get married and take the appropriate pro-active steps can enjoy the same favorable financial benefits that well-informed opposite-sex married people currently enjoybut only if they get married and take the appropriate steps," says Lange.
NEW BOOK TO HELP SAME-SEX COUPLES RETIRE SECURE
Lange has written a new book, Retire Secure! for Same Sex Couples (Retire Secure Press, paperback and ebook, May 10, 2014), designed to help same-sex couples navigate the challenges and enjoy the rewards of the new laws. Lange is donating all the money he receives from book sales to Freedom to Marry (www.FreedomToMarry.com), a non-profit that promotes marriage equality. Though not official, the book will likely be an AARP book with a foreword by same-sex marriage advocate, Evan Wolfson.
"There are now life-changing financial reasons to tie-the-knot," says Lange. "Getting married and combining new strategies (previously only available to married couples) with old concepts like maximizing Social Security benefits (using the apply-and-suspend technique) and by making a series of Roth IRA conversions, can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars or even over $1million of additional income to same-sex couples over the long term," Lange concludes.
Lange adds that there are new opportunities for same-sex couples in estate planning, particularly when one of the partner/spouses has an IRA or retirement plan.
"The tax laws heavily favor passing an IRA or retirement plan to a spouse; now, same-sex couples who get married can enjoy the enormous tax benefits available to a surviving spouse inheriting an IRA or retirement plan. Add in some of the advantages of the different techniques for taking spousal benefits for social security while both spouses are alive and after one passes, and other innovative strategies, and you have an arsenal at your fingertips to substantially increase wealth and financial security," Lange says.
In reference to Lange's new book, "America's IRA Expert" Ed Slott, CPA, says, "Jim provides a comprehensive road map to all the new retirement and estate planning strategies that were not previously available to same-sex couples. But they are now, and couples who wish to take advantage of them to enhance their options, increase their wealth, cut their taxes and live with financial security should dive into this gem." Jane Bryant Quinn, syndicated personal finance journalist, said "Jim Lange has written a wonderful book for all committed couples same-sex or opposite sex who are considering marriage. Once you reach retirement age, marriage becomes the best way of preserving income and wealth for the partner who survives."
NEW WEB-BASED RESOURCE CENTER FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES
"Same-Sex Couples and Social Security Benefits," one of the most important chapters in Lange's book, is available as a pdf download, at no cost, at www.outestateplanning.com. In addition to the book chapter, the site includes articles and links to upcoming financial seminars of interest to members of LGBT communities. Site visitors can also sign up for a free set of 10 new videos that concentrate on the central financial issues of IRAs, retirement plans and the best strategies for collecting social security. No matter when the videos are requested by a site visitor, one video will be emailed each week, in sequence, for 10 weeks.
Although the "Out Estate Planning" site has been up since 2002, Lange re-launched the site in 2013 with the stated goal of being "the most important financial resource for same-sex couples."
In addition, Lange features topics of interest to same-sex couples on his radio show The Lange Money Hour. The show, which is broadcast live on Pittsburgh's KQV-AM 1410 streams live at http://www.kqv.com, covers a variety of financial-related topics.
"A show just aired on April 9 where I provide a wealth of information for same-sex couples," Lange says. "That show, as well as a recent show that featured Evan Wolfson, attorney, gay rights advocate, and founder and executive director of Freedom To Marry, are available as free downloads on my website, www.outestateplanning.com."
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